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The secretion and reversible assembly of an extracellular-like matrix by enzyme-active inorganic protocells (colloidosomes) is described. Addition of N-fluorenyl-methoxycarbonyl-tyrosine-(O)-phosphate to an aqueous suspension of alkaline phosphatase-containing colloidosomes results in molecular uptake and dephosphorylation to produce a time-dependent sequence of supramolecular hydrogel motifs (outer membrane wall, cytoskeletal-like interior and extra-protocellular matrix) that are integrated and remodelled within the microcapsule architecture and surrounding environment. Heat-induced disassembly of the extra-protocellular matrix followed by cooling produces colloidosomes with a densely packed hydrogel interior. These procedures are exploited for the fabrication of nested colloidosomes with spatially delineated regions of hydrogelation.